Solved! Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units and Their Contents?
The answer to the question “Does renters insurance cover storage units?” is that it generally does. However, you may need additional coverage for more expensive items.
Q: I’m storing most of my bulky items in a storage unit since they won’t fit in my apartment, but I’m concerned what will happen if those items are stolen. Does renters insurance cover storage units if the items I’m keeping there are stolen or damaged?
A: The quick answer to the question “Does renters insurance cover storage units?” is that it typically does, but only up to a certain limit. Items kept in a storage unit would typically be covered by the personal property portion of a renters insurance policy. As long as the items were damaged as the result of a covered peril, such as a fire, theft, or some weather-related events, then a renter’s loss of possessions in a storage unit is typically covered by renters insurance. However, there may be exceptions to be aware of. Read on to learn all about how renters insurance can help cover items kept in a storage unit.
In general, renters insurance covers belongings that sustain damage from covered perils while kept in a storage unit.
A standard renters insurance policy usually offers a few different types of coverage. For example, renters insurance can cover liability costs may that occur if a visitor to the renter’s home is injured and the renter is deemed to be liable, or if the renter or a family member causes damage to someone else’s property and is sued as a result. Renters insurance can also cover additional living expenses if the renter is forced to relocate from an uninhabitable apartment while it is repaired following a covered peril. When it comes to coverage for personal items kept in a storage unit, the personal property coverage part of renters insurance will apply. Policies often include off-premises coverage, which helps protect the renter’s personal items when they are not in the renter’s home. That can include items in a storage unit as well as items stolen or damaged while traveling.
To determine how much insurance coverage to purchase, renters need to know the approximate value of their possessions. To do this, renters can create a home inventory detailing what they own along with an estimated value of each item, which will make it easier to file a claim. If using a home inventory, it’s advised that the renter include everything they own in the apartment as well as items kept in the storage unit. For instance, renters insurance policies tend to cover bicycles and other recreational equipment, so it’s important to note these on a home inventory, no matter where they are stored.
In order for renters insurance to cover loss or damage to personal items housed in a storage unit, the loss must be the result of a covered peril. In general, perils listed in a renters insurance policy are unexpected and unintended, which means an event that could not have been foreseen and prevented. Common examples of unexpected or unintended perils include fire and smoke damage, lightning, theft, vandalism, an explosion, sudden water damage (such as a burst pipe), a windstorm, and any other disasters that are listed in the policy. It’s advisable for renters to read their insurance policies carefully to fully understand what is covered and what is not.
Theft of personal property is usually covered even if it occurred from a storage unit.
Rental units tend to be quite secure; however, thefts from storage units can still happen. Even the most secure rental facilities carry risk, either as a result of being improperly locked or due to an experienced thief knowing how to override the storage unit security system. Thieves might break into rental units looking for TVs or electronics, valuable or collectible items, or even items of furniture that can be resold for a profit. It may be tempting for a renter to keep jewelry, computer equipment, or artwork in a storage unit because it might seem more secure, but these are desirable items that thieves seek out.
However, theft is one of the perils that is typically covered by renters insurance policies. If the theft occurs from a storage unit, a basic renters insurance policy would generally cover the stolen items, up to the limits of the policy and after the deductible has been paid. This is when it can pay for the renter to have a detailed home inventory, along with receipts and photos, of everything they possess, including items kept in a storage unit, since it can provide evidence of the items stolen when making a renters insurance claim and help the claims process go more smoothly.
However, items kept in a storage unit are generally only covered up to 10 percent of your total personal property limits.
Knowing that items kept in storage units are generally covered by renters insurance can give renters additional peace of mind when storing personal belongings outside their main residence. But it’s also important to know that, typically, renters insurance for storage unit belongings is limited to a certain percentage of the policy’s personal property limits, and that percentage is usually 10 percent. For a renters insurance policy with $25,000 worth of personal property coverage, that would mean a coverage limit of $2,500 for possessions kept in a storage unit or another off-premises location.
This is an important point to keep in mind, as it can help renters determine which items they should keep in their residence and which they can keep off premises. With a limit of $2,500 of off-premises coverage, the renter can ensure that the value of items kept in the storage unit does not exceed that amount. For instance, keeping high-ticket items like a large TV or an heirloom piece of furniture in an off-premise storage unit might not be the best decision since the renter may not have enough coverage for those items if they are stolen or damaged in the storage unit. These items are generally best kept at the renter’s place of residence instead. Knowing the personal property limits of the renters insurance policy can also help determine the size of the storage unit the renter should choose.
Experts typically advise purchasing additional coverage on valuable items to ensure they are covered both in and out of a storage unit.
Many renters insurance policies have coverage caps for expensive items like jewelry or collectibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, coverage is typically capped at $1,500 for jewelry that is lost or destroyed as part of a covered peril, and other valuables may have a cap as well. Renters whose valuable items total more than their policy limits may choose to look into additional storage unit rental insurance coverage for these expensive items. This additional storage unit insurance coverage is referred to as a floater or endorsement, and it acts as an add-on to the base renters insurance policy. Just be aware that these additional coverages may increase the cost of renters insurance, which will mean a higher monthly insurance premium for the renter.
Some examples of items requiring additional coverage are expensive jewelry; recreational equipment like ATVs, jet skis, and high-end exercise equipment; and expensive devices like custom gaming machines. Knowing the value of the items in the residence and in the storage unit helps a renter determine how much basic and additional coverage to get, which is why it’s important to create a home inventory.
Storage units may require customers to carry renters insurance, and they may offer self-storage coverage through a licensed insurance company.
Renters insurance is generally recommended for anyone who rents their home. Some renters believe that their landlord’s insurance will provide coverage for their personal belongings, but that is incorrect. Landlord insurance usually only covers damage to the actual building and not the items inside the building, which can leave renters having to foot the bill in the event of a loss for their possessions, any personal liability, and the cost of additional living expenses. That’s where a good renters insurance policy can offer more security in case of a covered incident.
Additionally, some storage units may require customers to show proof that they carry renters insurance for storage unit possessions, no matter what the unit costs. This is to make sure there is coverage in place if the unit is broken into or otherwise damaged, leaving less liability to the owners of the unit. If the storage unit requires customers to have personal property coverage through their renters or homeowners insurance, it will generally require the customer to show proof of insurance before they are allowed to rent the storage unit.
Some storage unit companies may also offer specific insurance for storage units through a partnership with a licensed insurance company. Insurance companies can offer storage rental insurance plans to customers of those units, which can be an option for renters who keep many of their possessions in self-storage. Renters who choose the insurance plans storage unit companies offer will want to do their research on the storage unit insurance company to make sure it’s legitimate and to see exactly what the policy covers, as well as fully understanding the storage insurance cost.
Generally, a good renters insurance policy should provide the coverage needed for most items kept in a self-storage unit.
When signing up for a renters insurance policy, it’s important for renters to read the policy coverage information carefully and to ask questions about the policy if they are unsure of what items and perils are covered. It’s often a simple matter of asking an insurance agent, “Does renters insurance cover storage units?” That way, the renter can rest assured that items they keep in a storage unit are covered by their insurance policy.
The best renters insurance policies will generally offer renters coverage through insurance for storage units, barring certain expensive items. Since storage units are often used for extra furniture, old books, or other items not in regular use, the 10 percent coverage cap on many base policies is often more than enough coverage for what typically goes into a storage unit.